- Samuel Eto $90 million Cameroon
The Cameroon striker’s bank account has flourished since signing an ultra-rich contract with Anzhi while his gameplay has fallen off the soccer radar in the underdeveloped Russian league. But that has not kept him from making headlines. He has lashed out at his native country’s football association claiming they have siphoned his money and alleged they want him killed. He has recently backed out of Cameroon competition along with teammates, all citing injuries, and has said he sleeps with military police protection
2. Didier Drogba $70 million Cote D’Ivoire
is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Canadian MLS club Montreal Impact. He is the all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team. He is best known for his career at Chelsea, for whom he has scored more goals than any other foreign player and is currently the club’s fourth highest goal scorer of all time. He has been named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the accolade in 2006 and 2009.
After playing in youth teams, Drogba made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans, and signed his first professional contract aged 21. After finishing the 2002–03 season with 17 goals in 34 appearances for Ligue 1 side Guingamp, he moved to Olympique de Marseille, where he finished as the third highest scorer in the 2003–04 season with 19 goals and helped the club reach the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.
In the summer of 2004, Drogba moved to Premier League club Chelsea for a club record £24 million fee, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. In his debut season he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. In March 2012, he became the first African player to score 100 Premier League goals, and also became the only player in history to score in four separate FA Cup finals the same year, when he scored in Chelsea’s win over Liverpool in the 2012 final. He also played in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, in which he scored an 88th-minute equaliser and the winning penalty in the deciding shoot-out against Bayern Munich. After spending 6 months with Shanghai Shenhua in China, and one and a half seasons with Turkish club Galatasaray where he scored the winning goal in the final of the 2013 Turkish Super Cup, Drogba returned to Chelsea in July 2014. With a career record of scoring 10 goals in 10 finals winning 10 trophies at club level, Drogba has been referred to as the “ultimate big game player.”
An Ivory Coast international between 2002 and 2014, Drogba captained the national team from 2006 until his retirement and is the nation’s all-time top goalscorer with 65 goals from 104 appearances. He led the Ivory Coast to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament, and also scored their first goal. He later captained the Ivory Coast at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. He was part of the Ivory Coast teams that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012, but were beaten on penalties on both occasions. On 8 August 2014, he announced his retirement from international football
3. Yaya Toure $ 70 million Cote D’Ivoire
Touré aspired to be a striker during his youth and has played centre back, including for FC Barcelona in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, however he has spent the majority of his career as a box-to-box midfielder for club and country, where he has been regarded as one of the world’s best players. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Touré began his playing career at Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas, where he made his debut aged 18. His performances attracted attention from Europe. Touré had stints with Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, and AS Monaco before moving to Barcelona in 2007. He played over 100 matches for the club and was part of the historic 2009 Barcelona side that won six trophies in a calendar year. In 2010 Touré moved to Premier League club Manchester City where he scored a number of key goals for the Citizens – most notably the only goals in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final and final. He also helped City earn its first league title in 44 years.
Touré has a distinguished international career with over 100 caps for the Ivory Coast, representing the team at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments. He also represented Ivory Coast in six Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while captaining them to victory in 2015. He is the younger brother of his Ivory Coast teammate Kolo Touré. They played together at Manchester City for three years, before Kolo was transferred to Liverpool in 2013
4. Mario Balotelli net worth $ 40 million Ghanaian descent
He started his professional football career at Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at Barcelona, and subsequently joining Inter Milan in 2007. Inter manager Roberto Mancini brought Balotelli into the first team, but when Mancini left, Balotelli’s disciplinary record fell away. He had a strained relationship with new manager José Mourinho and was suspended from Inter’s first team in January 2009 after a number of disciplinary problems.
With doubts over his career at Inter, former coach Roberto Mancini had since moved to Manchester City and decided to give Balotelli a fresh chance at a new club. He joined Manchester City in August 2010, where his performances and off-field activities continued to be enigmatic and unpredictable. Balotelli eventually fell out of favour with Mancini after a “training ground bust up” between the two in January 2013. His departure from City and return to Italy with A.C. Milan followed several weeks later. After 18 months at Milan, he returned to the Premier League with Liverpool, going back on loan after an unsuccessful season.
Balotelli earned his first cap for Italy in a friendly match against the Ivory Coast on 10 August 2010. He has since amassed over 30 caps and represented his country at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, helping them reach the final of the former.
5. Emmanuel Adebayor 27 million Togo
is a Togolese professional footballer who plays as a forward. He previously played for English clubs Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Metz, Monaco and Real Madrid. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2008.
Adebayor represented the Togo national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the country’s début, and to date only, appearance at the World Cup. In January 2010, Adebayor was one of the players involved when the Togo team’s bus came under gunfire on the way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, after which he retired from national team duty. In 2013 he returned to the Togo team for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa, where he helped them to qualify for the quarterfinals. He is currently Togo’s all-time top goalscorer with 29 goals.
A towering striker, Adebayor is described as being “tall, skilful, strong in the air and with the ability to score and create
6. Michael Essien $25 million Ghana
is a Ghanaian footballer who plays for Panathinaikos and the Ghana national team. He is a midfielder who has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert energy in supporting offensive and defensive play and for his tough tackling style which has earned him the nickname “The Bison”. Essien can also play as a defender, both on the right of defence and in the centre.
Essien started his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003. At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship. In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history. At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup. In 2008, he appeared in the UEFA Champions League Final. He has won the Chelsea Goal of the season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.
Essien is a Ghanaian international. At youth level, he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up. Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16. He is often referred to as the Bison for his tough tackling style, boundless energy and physical presence on the pitch
7. Asamoah Gyan $ 25 million Ghana
Gyan began his career in 2003 with Ghanaian Premier League club Liberty Professionals scoring a prolific ten goals in sixteen matches then spent three seasons with Serie A club Udinese via two seasons loan at Modena netting on fifteen occasions in fifty-three league matches and at Udinese where he scored eleven times in thirty-nine league matches. In 2008, Gyan joined Ligue 1 club Rennes, netting fourteen times in forty-eight league matches during two seasons. In 2010, Gyan joined Premier League club Sunderland, breaking the club’s transfer record and netting on ten occasions in thirty-four Premier League matches during two seasons.
In 2011, Gyan joined Al Ain of the UAE Pro-League on loan and become the league’s top-goalscorer, scoring twenty-four times in twenty-seven matches. In the following season, Gyan permanently joined Al Ain and once again became the league’s top-goalscorer while he helped Al Ain retain the UAE Pro-League title, scoring an impressive twenty-eight goals in thirty-two matches. In the 2013–14 season, Gyan prolifically scored on forty-four occasions in forty matches with Al Ain.
Gyan is the all-time leading goalscorer of the Ghana national team earning over 90 caps. He represented Ghana at the 2006, 2010, and 2014 FIFA World Cups. With 6 goals he is the top African goalscorer in the history of the World Cup. Gyan has also represented Ghana at the 2004 Summer Olympics and in six Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015, helping them finish in third-place in 2008 and runner-up in 2010 and 2015.
8. Kevin Prince Boateng $20 million Ghana
Boateng is known for his strength, footspeed, and ball-juggling tricks. A 2014 profile on FIFA‘s official website described Boateng as “blessed with strength, speed, killer instinct in front of goal, and an uncommon flamboyance in the attacking third”.
9. Kolo Toure $ 18 million Cote D’Ivoire
Beginning his career at ASEC Mimosas, Touré moved to Arsenal in 2002, where he made 326 appearances for the club and was a member of the famous 03-04 ‘invincibles’ side. In 2009 he joined his younger brother Yaya Touré at Manchester City where they played together for three years, helping City earn its first league title in 44 years. In 2013 Touré transferred to Liverpool. Toure is one of the six players who have won Premier League with two different clubs, having won it with Manchester City and Arsenal.
Touré is the second-most capped player with 118 appearances for the Ivory Coast. He represented the team at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Touré also represented the Ivory Coast at seven Africa Cup of Nations in 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while winning in 2015
10. John Obi Mikel $ 15 million Nigeria